Our 2019 Bahamas Bowl pick has Buffalo vs Charlotte. This 2019 Bahamas Bowl pick will be played Friday, December 20 at 2:00 pm ET. The Buffalo Bulls (7-5) finished second in the MAC East. They ended the season with a conference record of 5-3, which put them in a three-way tie with the Kent State Golden Flashes and the Ohio Bobcats. The Miami (OH) Redhawks took the MAC East with a 6-2 record.
The Charlotte 49ers (7-5) were fourth in C-USA East. The Niners finished with a 5-3 conference record and two games behind the East-winning Florida Atlantic Owls. In the regular season, the Owls beat the 49ers 45-27.
2019 Bahamas Bowl Pick – Regular Season
In the regular season, the Buffalo Bulls played one top 25 club, the #15 Penn State Nittany Lions. The Bulls lost to the Lions 45-13. After that loss, Buffalo recorded another loss to the Liberty Flames 35-17. After beating Temple 38-22, the Bulls lost to Miami (OH) and Ohio. In the final six games of the season, the Buffalo Bulls went 5-1. Their one loss in those half-dozen games was 30-27 to Kent State. In their last game of the season, the Bulls beat the Baylor Bears 49-7.
Our 2019 Bahamas Bowl pick notes that in the first six games of the season, the Charlotte 49ers went 2-4. In the course of those half-dozen games, the Niners beat Gardner-Webb 49-28 and UMass 52-17. #1 Clemson took down the 49ers 52-10. In the final six contests, Charlotte first lost to Western Kentucky 30-14. They then ran off five straight wins, beating Old Dominion in their last game of the season 38-22.
Buffalo Bulls vs. Charlotte 49ers – Stats
This season, both teams were good for 31.5 PPG. However, the Bulls defense proved to be stingier, holding opponents to 22.3 PPG while the Niners allowed 32.5 PPG. Offensively, Buffalo averaged 397.4 YPG with 254.3 YPG on the ground. Although the Bulls’ ground game is very healthy, their pass attack is lacking. Buffalo is averaging 143.2 YPG in the air. The Charlotte offense is averaging 212.6 air YOG and 210.4 ground YPG for a total of 423.0 offensive YPG.
The Charlotte defense looks to be vulnerable to the rush as they’re allowing 190.8 rushing YPG. Their pass D is solid, holding teams to 198.3 YPG. They bring eight INTs and one pick-six to this game. They also have 34 PD, eight FF, and 36 sacks. The Bull defense is allowing about 100 fewer yards per game than Charlotte’s. Teams are rushing for just 95.3 YPG. The Bulls are holding opponents to 197.8 passing YPG. The Bulls have recorded 38 sacks, 34 PD and 12 FF. They’ve grabbed 10 INTs and managed to bring down two for scores.
Buffalo at Charlotte – Players
The Bulls bring a fine unit of rushers to this game as well as a tough defense that includes a hard-hitting rush-control unit. The Charlotte 49ers bring a fine passing game to the field. On defense, they have a tough time stopping the run.
For the Bulls, QB Kyle Vantrease has passed for 1,116 yards completing 60.0% of his passes, tossing seven TD passes and one INT, and being sacked two times. WR Antonio Nunn has 44 catches for 634 yards and five TDs. RBs Jaret Patterson and Kevin Marks have rushed for 1,626 YPG and 1,008 YPG respectively. Patterson’s scored 17 times and Marls eight. On defense, safety Joey Banks has grabbed three picks and made 78 tackles while DE Taylor Riggins comes to the game with 8.5 sacks. LB Matt Otwinowski has recorded 70 tackles while corner Devon Russel and safety Tyrone Hill have each accumulated nine PD.
The Niners are led by QB Chris Reynolds who’s passed for 2,366 yards and 21 TDs. Reynolds has been sacked 12 times and tossed 10 INTs. Four 49er pass catchers have 19 or more receptions. WR Victor Tucker leads the team with 49 catches, 848 yards, and six receiving TDs. WR Tyler Ringwood has five touchdown receptions. Four different players have five or more scores with RB Benny LeMay scoring nine times and rushing for 1,027 yards and averaging 5.7 YPA. Charlotte has a solid core of defenders that includes DE Alex Highsmith with 14 sacks and LB Markees Watts with 9.5 sacks. DB Marquill Osborne has defended eight passes and grabbed three picks.
Five Keys to the Game
In creating our 2019 Bahamas Bowl pick, we see the following as being the keys to this contest:
- Bull rush attack should dominate 49er D
- QB Reynolds gives Charlotte offense an advantage
- 49er pass rush has potential to contain QB Vantrease
- Buffalo pass defense will be challenged
- Bulls hold overall edge
Our 2019 Bahamas Bowl Pick
Our 2019 Bahamas Bowl pick, which is our first bowl prediction for the year, is the Buffalo Bulls at -6.5. In terms of points being scored, look for the Bulls to put about 40 points on the scoreboard. We expect Charlotte to be good for 20 points. With an over/under of 52.0 points, we pick the over in this one. We have the entire 2019 – 2020 bowl schedule here.